Claiming that the Delhi University’s smoke-free initiative had been “reasonably successful” on the North Campus, Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental on Monday said the teaching fraternity should also be motivated to join the campaign.

“Our campaign is educative and not punitive. It is in a very constructive spirit. We should now capture the teachers. Teachers should be motivated (to kick the habit of smoking),” Prof. Pental told reporters after attending a meeting of the college nodal officers participating in the initiative.

“We do not want to do moral policing. We are interested in the health and welfare of students. Young people are doing great damage to themselves by leading a sedentary lifestyle. We also feel that we should have a component for counselling and medical advice,” he added.

The Delhi University’s smoke-free initiative was started in 2006 under which the university, World Lung Foundation-South Asia and Delhi police have been making efforts to make the North Campus a tobacco-free zone.

The campaign has now also been extended to the South Campus.

“We have put up a board at the gates and canteens of most colleges on the South Campus with anti-tobacco and no-smoking messages. In some colleges, tobacco-free brigades have been formed,” informed G.R. Khatri, president of the World Lung Foundation-South Asia.

Monday’s meeting was attended by nodal officers of 70 colleges and departments, who have been asked to draw an action plan by September 15 on how to effectively implement the anti-smoking campaign.

“We have told the nodal officers that the tobacco-free campaign should be a part of different cultural and social activities being held in the college. We will also organise a marathon later this year to spread awareness about our campaign,” added Dr. Khatri.

The initiative has also identified 14 places as “smoking dens” on the North Campus that are being monitored every two months.

“There has been a definite decline in the smoking pattern. But we need to persist with the campaign. We have adopted a policy of persuasion,” he added.

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